From the directors of our tri-parish RCIA and Confirmation programs.
I have been blessed with opportunities to work for the Church in some capacity for most of the past 28 years. After graduating with a degree in History (Ohio State University '92), my husband Rick and I lived in Columbus for nine years. There, I worked for the Diocese of Columbus as a secretary for two years before our first child was born.
In 2001, we moved back to our hometown of Ashland to build our home on his family’s farm, where we have raised our eight children (ages 9-26) and sheep, as well! We became members of St. Mary Parish. Immediately I volunteered as an Early Childhood leader, then a few years later as a catechist. Later I taught Confirmation classes and became involved in directing, at various levels, the Parish School of Religion (PSR), early childhood programming, and Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
Last year, even before our parishes were combined into our current arrangement, I helped to coordinate a unified RCIA (now called OCIA) program for all three parishes, and I serve as the coordinator of that today. In addition, I currently serve as director of religious education classes (PSR) for the K-8 children in St. Mary and St. Peter parishes. I am happy to provide this opportunity to our children both on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
My goal has always been to build a strong religious education program for our children. I think we are well on our way to doing so. I love to share my passion and knowledge of the Catholic Faith! It is my hope that together we can lead our children and encourage each other to become lifelong disciples in this life and saints in the next!
Whether as an employee or volunteer, I, too, have been working for the Church nearly my entire married life. I’ve been co-director of religious education for St. Mary since 2012, currently coordinating High School Catechesis, children’s sacraments, and Baptism preparation. For eight years while my husband Louis pursued his PhD, I worked for the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana, using both my background in Philosophy and Mass Communications (Loyola University New Orleans ‘93). My sacramental preparation ministry began in 1995, when Louis and I taught Confirmation classes at Purdue University’s St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center. Before we knew it, we also were involved in deanery-wide marriage preparation.
We became parishioners of St. Mary upon moving to Ashland in 2003, when Louis joined the Ashland University Philosophy Department. Shortly after coming to St. Mary, I volunteered for Children’s Liturgy of the Word, and then in 2007 became a second-grade catechist. Not long after, Louis and I were asked to give joint Confirmation retreats for St. Mary and Resurrection parishes. The co-DRE position followed, and Louis and I again started teaching Confirmation classes together, this time with the help of key volunteers and parents of St. Mary Parish. Our youngest child is an 8th grader at St. Mary School this year (and will be in the Confirmation class). We have three older children, who are 17, 20, and 24.
With a goal of instilling a deeper understanding and love of the sacraments, I look forward to extending my ministry to St. Peter in our new tri-parish configuration, as I coordinate a joint Confirmation program for the three parishes, as well as working with the 2nd-grade families of St. Peter as sacramental preparation coordinator.